Doing a second post in the same day because came across a fabulous contest. Check it out on Brenda Drake's blog: http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/2011/01/blogfest-contest-with-prizes-from-agent.html?showComment=1296072757571#c4089240962108017595
It's simple and straightforward and has great prizes, including an agent critique. You have to post your first line on your own blog, and list your info and url in the form Brenda provides in her post.
The idea is to post your entry today or tomorrow, get feedback from your readers, then revise (if you want to) and submit the first line to the contest on Wednesday this week.
Here's my entry:
Name: Linda Gray
Title: And When I Die
Three days after we settled in London, a shadow I thought I'd seen moving behind me as I explored the city fleshed itself out in the form of a dark suit that breezed past my left elbow.
Revision: A shadow I'd seen flicker behind me as I explored London fleshed itself out on the third day, in the form of a dark suit that breezed past my left elbow.
Revision 2: A shadow breezed past my left elbow in the form of a dark suit. The way it moved was familiar, blood-chilling—I'd seen it flicker behind me for three days as I explored London.
Would love your comments, thanks!
Linda, I love this! It gave me chills. I wonder if you could work the "three days after we settled in London" into the second or third sentence. It might give the opening sentence a little more power. This sentence makes me want to read more and leaves me dying to know what happens. That is excellent!ReplyDelete
Interesting point, Heather. Make the beat faster, I like that.ReplyDelete
A powerful image. It would be easy to break this up into shorter sentences and focus on the detail of being followed and the shadow becoming a man in a suit. You can fill in the details of moving to London and exploring the city in the subsequent lines.ReplyDelete
But I definitely want to know what's going to happen next.
Yes, I would start it with-A shadow..and incorperate the "three days after" in later as Heather suggested. Very good first sentence! Awesome!ReplyDelete
Good imagery and sensory details. I would read on. The sentence seems a bit wordy as mentioned already. Start with the shadow for sure. That part is the most interesting! Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Check out mine at www.melissaddean.com
I do not want to sound repetitive, so I will just say that I agree with the above comments. The line makes me want to know more about what the dark suit is all about!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kate, I'm glad the image came through, and appreciate the suggestion!ReplyDelete
Morgan, thank you. I was wondering how it would sound to start with "A shadow" Sounds good when I read it from someone else!
Hi Melissa, so glad you like the imagery and sensory detail. And another vote for starting with "the shadow!" I'm headed over to check out your entry now . . .ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Marla. That dark suit is a bad boy we don't really want to know, but we do get to, anyhow. (and no, he's not a rapist--not that you asked! It just seems like a possible obvious takeaway from one line.)ReplyDelete
Great sentence, it sets a good amount of tension. I do feel that it is a bit wordy and needs to be tightened a bit.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Cheree. Tightening on the way.ReplyDelete
I agree with what everyone else said...It makes me want to read on, but it needs to be tightened up.ReplyDelete
Best wishes on your entry!
I sent my comment via email. I hope you received it. The first time I sent it, it was returned to me.
I love the image you create. I felt it was a bit busy though. THe shadow and the three days in London.ReplyDelete
I would probably go with talking about the dark suit breezing past the elbow, then in a new sentence move onto how the shadow had been following her.
I didn't get the email, Michael! I think my web email is broken. But I just emailed you a little while ago with a diff address, so hopefully will get it later. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Thank you Sharon. It's fun mixing things up, and I love your take on how to start.ReplyDelete
Linda, I read yours yesterday and the comments. I liked it yesterday. Oh my God... I LOVE it today! Could you imagine if we spent this amount of work on each line in our book how powerful it would be? Amazing. This is really good!!! Sorry for the exclamation points, but I'm excited.ReplyDelete
Oh, your latest revision gave me chills. And it was great to see the progression you went through, each version becoming clearer. I'd give that first line a definite thumbs up--and I'd read on :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing.
I LOVE revision #2 Linda! Excellent work.ReplyDelete
So true about working to make it work, Karlene! Thanks for your comment.ReplyDelete
Portia! So glad to see you and hope you're doing well. Thank you for commenting! That progression was great to go through. Now if I could just get it down to a couple of nanoseconds instead of an overnight :-).
OGM your last revision is perfect! I'm still wiping off goosebumps! YeahReplyDelete
Thanks, Heather, and thanks for coming back to see what I did with your excellent suggestion and the great thoughts from others. Critiquing is really fun! (but we knew that)ReplyDelete
Tanya, nice to meet you. Thank you so much for that wonderful comment. If I gave you goosebumps I did my job!
I think you may have nailed it in your revision 2. Everything else can come after you lay such a compelling hook onthe reader. Great job.ReplyDelete
You're definitely onto something chilling here! I vote for revision 2. Here's my stab at it:ReplyDelete
A shadow flickered (behind me) until it took the form of a dark suit and breezed past my left elbow.
I turned to see a shadow flicker and take on the form of a dark suit. The way it moved seemed eerily familiar.
I'd love to read about this mysterious shadow!!!
Thanks so much for your thoughts, Christy! It's wonderful how writers pull together and help each other. Brainstorming is the best!ReplyDelete
I hope everyone got entered in the contest. I was late, because I didn't see that little tag EST after 8:00 a.m. on Brenda's blog, but I guess I wasn't the only one. She extended it until noon EST, which is in 23 minutes. So if anyone hasn't entered yet, go for it! Best of luck to everyone!